Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 700 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
KIND seeks an Interim Senior Director, Latin America to lead the development and implementation of KIND’s programs and initiatives in Central America and Mexico. KIND’s work in Central America and Mexico combines programming, advocacy, and research in order to address the root causes of child migration and increase protection and support for migrant children in the region. The Interim Senior Director, Latin America will work closely with the Vice President, International Programs and the Senior Director of Partnerships and Program Administration. They will provide high-level leadership and supervise staff for Central America and Mexico, including the Director, Reintegration Programs; Director, Gender & Migration Initiatives; Director, Partnerships and Training; Director, Mexico Advocacy; Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; and Regional Manager, Southern Mexico. They will oversee the development and implementation of programs for Central America and Mexico. They will also identify strategies and opportunities for leveraging KIND’s expertise to support initiatives within Mexico and Central America to bolster child protection, expand programming to address the root causes of migration, and KIND’s reputation. Importantly, they will play a central role throughout a USAID co-creation and potential proposal development process.
The Interim Senior Director plays a key role, provides oversight, guidance, and support to the team during a period of growth and staff transitions, and works with the Vice President to ensure successful implementation of new projects in the region. . Additionally, they will oversee the development of funding proposals and timely completion of grant deliverables. They will participate in hiring as needed and will engage regularly with counterparts in different components of KIND including Finance, Human Resources, Legal Programs, Policy and Advocacy, and Communications.
- Works closely with Vice President, International Programs and Senior Director for Partnerships and Program Administration to define the strategy and direction for KIND’s Central America and Mexico work and to re-evaluate structure as the work and team grows.
- Designs, oversees, and seeks to expand KIND’s programs that advance regional protection of unaccompanied children through including its programming focused on gender-based violence prevention, reintegration of returning children and youth, livelihoods, and programming to strengthen access to protection for unaccompanied children in Mexico including by pursuing new funding streams such as US government sources.
- Supervises a team of six including, the Director, Gender & Migration Initiative; Director, Reintegration Programs; Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; Director, Partnerships and Training, Mexico; Director, Advocacy, Mexico; and Regional Manager, Southern Mexico.
- Works with the Vice President to oversee the successful standup of new programs in southern Mexico.
- Onboards Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and ensure selection and implementation of online monitoring and evaluation platform.
- Develops new and builds on existing relationships with key public, private, and civil society stakeholders, networks, and regional advocacy partnerships and collaborate in discussions that promote a child’s best interests, safety, and well-being in countries of transit, destination, and return.
- Partners with the Vice President, International Programs to complete a theory of change process for Central America programs and to identify and carry out additional program strengthening needs and activities.
- Collaborates with KIND’s Policy and Advocacy, Communications, Legal Programs, and Development teams to promote KIND’s Latin America work, advances regional solutions, educates policy makers and the public on the root causes of migration, and coordinates strategies and fundraising across KIND components.
- Participates in fundraising efforts for KIND’s Central America and Mexico programming, including drafting concept papers, proposals, budgets, and grant reports, and participates in meetings with prospective donors.
- Works with Director of Partnerships and Program Administration to represent KIND throughout USAID co-creation and to lead on potential proposal development.
- Ensures timely completion of grant deliverables.
- Manages budget(s) for Latin America programming in collaboration with the VP, International Programs and Senior Director, Partnerships and Program Administration.
- Serves as hiring manager when needed.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Graduate degree in Latin American Studies, migration or refugee studies, foreign policy, international affairs, public policy, social sciences, or other relevant field involving analysis strongly preferred.
- Experience in program development and program evaluation with demonstrated successful management and track record of drafting funding proposals, reports, and budgets.
- Significant program or project development and management in the areas of international development, humanitarian assistance, and/or international legal or protection programs with a focus on children and/or adolescents, across a broad range of programs and including U.S. government funded programs or projects.
- Must be fully bilingual in English and Spanish.
- Exceptionally strong written and oral communication and presentation skills (English and Spanish) and ability to write for a diverse range of purposes.
- A strong record of cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to build partnerships and collaborate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.
- Ability to travel to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico and occasional travel to other locations.
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites (such as Teams, Excel, etc.).
- Excellent organizational skills with ability to work on multiple projects in a deadline-oriented environment. Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate as appropriate.
- Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
- Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
- Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
- Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing and a work-home life balance.
KIND requires all staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.
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